Dosage of Folic Acid

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Folic acid is a B vitamin the body uses to make DNA. Folic acid helps the body make new cells every day. It is also called as:

5′-Methyltetrahydrofolate, 5′-MTHF, Acide Folique, Acide Ptéroylglutamique, Acide Ptéroylmonoglutamique, Acido Folico, B Complex Vitamin, Complexe de Vitamines B, Complexe Vitaminique B, Dihydrofolate, Folacin, Folacine, Folate, Folinic Acid, L-methyl folate, Methylfolate, Méthylfolate, Pteroylglutamic Acid, Pteroylmonoglutamic Acid, Pteroylpolyglutamate, Tetrahydrofolate, Tétrahydrofolate, Vitamin B9, Vitamine B9

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For folic acid deficiency: the typical dose is 250 mcg (micrograms) to 1 mg (milligrams) per day.
  • For preventing birth defects of the brain and spine (neural tube birth defects): Women capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 mcg of folic acid per day from fortified foods or supplements. Women who are pregnant are advised to take 600 mcg of folic acid per day from fortified foods or supplements. Women with a history of previous pregnancy complicated by neural tube defects usually take 4 mg per day beginning one month before and continuing for up to 3 months after conception.
  • For reducing colon cancer risk: 400 mcg per day.
  • For treating high amounts of homocysteine in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia):
    • 200 mcg to 15 mg per day has been used, although daily doses of 800 mcg to 1 mg appear to be most effective.
    • In people with end-stage renal disease, high homocysteine levels may be more difficult to treat, and doses of 800 mcg to 40 mg per day have been used. Other dosage plans such as 2.5-5 mg three times weekly have also been used. Doses higher than 15 mg daily do not seem to be more effective than lower doses.
  • For improving the response to medications for depression: 200-500 mcg daily has been used.
  • For a skin disorder that causes white patches to develop on the skin (vitiligo): 5 mg is typically taken twice daily.
  • For reduction of toxicity caused by the drug methotrexate: 1 mg per day is probably enough, but up to 5 mg per day may be used.
  • For preventing an eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD): 2.5 mg of folic acid, 1 mg of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and 50 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) per day have been used.
  • For a decline in memory and thinking skills in older people that is more than what is normal for their age. 400 mcg of folic acid per day or 800 mcg of folic acid with 20 mg of vitamin B6 and 500 mcg of vitamin B12 per day have been used for up to 2 years. A higher folic acid dose of 15 mg has also been used, but only for up to 60 days.
  • For preventing stroke. 500 mcg to 40 mg of folic acid per day have been used. The greatest benefit seems to occur with folic acid doses of 800 mcg per day or lower.

APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

  • For gum disease in women who are pregnant: a mouthwash containing folic acid has been used twice daily for one minute.

GIVEN BY NEEDLE:

  • For homocysteine lowering in people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD): 10 mg post-hemodialysis three times per week has been given in the vein.

CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:

  • For gum enlargement caused by the drug phenytoin (6-15 years): folic acid 500 mcg daily has been used.

The adequate intakes (AI) for infants are 65 mcg for infants 0-6 months and 80 mcg for infants 7-12 months of age. The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for folate in DFE, including both food folate and folic acid from fortified foods and supplements, are Children 1-3 years, 150 mcg; Children 4-8 years, 200 mcg; Children 9-13 years, 300 mcg; Adults over 13 years, 400 mcg; Pregnant women 600 mcg; and breast-feeding women, 500 mcg. The tolerable upper intake levels (UL) of folate are 300 mcg for children 1-3 years of age, 400 mcg for children 4-8 years, 600 mcg for children 9-13 years, 800 mcg for adolescents 14-18 years, and 1 mg for everyone over 18 years of age.

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